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JOE VANENKHUIZEN

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Optreden 1965

Period

24-06-1939 - current

Genre

accordeon, jazz, tenorsaxofoon

Online

Officiële website

Pseudonyms

Joe Van Enkhuizen

Joe Vanenkhuizen

Over the years Joop van Enkhuizen (Wormerveer, 24 June 1939) reinvented himself several times. He starts out as a middleweight bop tenor saxophonist who gradually comes under John Coltrane’s spell. In the early eighties he makes a great comeback with a number of albums featuring well-known American sidemen. In 2000, ...
Full biography

Instruments

accordeon, tenorsaxofoon

Mentioned in the biography of

1965   Arnold Dooyeweerd
1987   Robert Jan Vermeulen

Biography Joe Vanenkhuizen

Over the years Joop van Enkhuizen (Wormerveer, 24 June 1939) reinvented himself several times. He starts out as a middleweight bop tenor saxophonist who gradually comes under John Coltrane’s spell. In the early eighties he makes a great comeback with a number of albums featuring well-known American sidemen. In 2000, disillusioned with what he sees as the hardly original European jazz scene, he decides to focus on three-quarter time signatures, and playing the accordion.

1949 - 1959

At the age of ten he is given a button accordion and takes lessons on the instrument for three years. When he starts listening to jazz, he decides to switch to saxophone. This turns out to be an alto in a local brass band, and a year later he buys his own tenor. He teaches himself to play it in a style akin to Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins and others. With it he soon starts playing gigs in his home province of North Holland.

1960 - 1965

Van Enkhuizen works as a professional musician in France, playing for American soldiers. It is here that he hears his first Coltrane record. It leaves a deep impression, and during the daytime he studies Coltrane’s LPs, and at night his sidmen hear the results. Back in the Netherlands his own quartet wins first prize at the 1965 Loosdrecht Jazz Competition. He is unable to cash in on this success, since the public interest in the music he likes to play is drastically waning under the rise of the new pop music on the one hand, and the tumultuous introduction of free-jazz on the other.

1966 - 1982

Back in North Holland he starts earning a living as an antique dealer and owner of a coffeeshop, and later of a dance hall. Business is not bad, but he hardly gets around to playing jazz anymore. He is unable to find people to play with locally, let alone an audience, and his tenor sax stays in its case for many years.

1983 - 1999

Thee saxophonist gets a telephone call from a number of local musicians who ask him to join their band. He doesn’t find the Group particularly interesting, but once he warms up his horn again there is no turning back. He simply has to play again. In order not to let his comeback pass by unnoticed, he changes his name to Joe Van Enkhuizen (later Joe Vanenkhuizen) and surrounds himself with top notch Dutch and international musicians both on stage and in the studio. He recirds albums with American stars, including pianist Benny Green and bassist Major Holley. He also manages to attract renowned expats like bassist John Clayton and pianist Horace Parlan to the studio. His bold approach shows from him asking the rhythm section of one of his favorite records (Doin’ Allright van Dexter Gordon, from 1961) with him into the studio in 1986. Joe Meets The Rhythm Section therefore features Horace Parlan, bassist Rufus Reid (the recplacement for thr deceased George Tucker of the original recording) and drummer Al Harewood. This doesn’t remain unnoticed in The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD. The reviewer remarks: ‘He has a great sound and plenty of élan – southern-styled tenor, full of bullish good humour, homeboy swing and a bearhug tenderness on the slow ones. He is, though, from Holland.’

2000 - 2011

Van Enkhuizen is disillusioned with jazz – European musicians imitate Americans far too much, is his opinion – and by having to play clubs and festivals. He doesn’t like to peddle himself, travel long distances and having to deal with noisy audiences. He stops performin altogether and returns to the instrument of his childhood: the accordion. He focuses on the three-quarter time exclusively. His qualities as an improviser are effortlessly translated to the accordion, which he playes with a Piazzolla-like verve. He hounds his network with statements like: ‘In order to be authentic your origins are relevant. Borrowed jazz doesn’t flourish, and you will always remain nonentity.’ When asked he responds: ‘My concept can only be heard on CD and on YouTube.’ His current stagename is Joe Vanenkhuizen.

Discography Joe Vanenkhuizen

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Joe Vanenkhuizen

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